So, I am less than a week away from leaving home and the thought of living on my own has finally hit me.
Now, if I was still back at Smith, I would’ve felt excited imagining what life would be like after I settled into my new city. I’d be Googling the nearest gyms and the most affordable dance classes in the area. But I’m no- well… okay, so I might have done a little bit of that in the beginning…
HOWEVER, that does not justify the surge of paralyzing fear that is beginning to creep into my mind as the day when I leave home gets closer.
You would think that having more freedom in your life allows you to do whatever you want when in reality, that isn’t the case at all.
More choices come with greater responsibilities as well as even more consequences to consider before taking the next big step. My family won’t be nearby and my friends will be too busy transitioning to their new life that there will be times when I just have to suck it up and go along for the ride. That means that if an emergency situation does come up, I have to make sure that I can bear the impact, financially or emotionally. The thought of making mistakes once I’m out of the door is a terrifying one.
And don’t get me started with the distance. I think another reason why I feel so nervous about moving is that it’s only days away and I just don’t have enough time to spend with everyone back at “home.” Heck, I will never have enough time to spend with the people I care about anywhere I go. I’ve come so far that it’s amazing to know that I have yet shed a tear over my goodbyes. As someone who is never in one place for more than 3 to 4 consecutive months for the last 4 years, coping with goodbyes has been an easy and hard lesson to digest over the years.
Of course, it’s not like I haven’t been on my own before. But interning in Philly, studying abroad in Shanghai, and living the past 4 years at Smith can’t even compare to what it’s going to be like living in the real world. As I take on my first full-time job in a city – a city where I, ironically, don’t know much about despite attending a college that’s located only several hours away for four years, I will have to encounter many firsts. My first time budgeting seriously (ugh), my first time paying off utility bills and student loans (ugh), my first time cooking meals every single day (this part is actually okay) and so on and so forth.
I am scared because this decision of mine is definitely an impractical one.
My parents are already concerned of the lifestyle that I will be leading because of the high cost of living in the city when the compensation that I have agreed to work for at my full time job is less than they hoped to be. However, when I first applied to this job, I knew what I was getting myself into and at the end of the day, it wasn’t the money that I cared about – it was the experience.
Let’s look at my situation in another perspective. If I had stayed at home, I don’t think I could have been offered a great opportunity such as the one I have now and although I am not getting paid $50k for it, I will be working and learning a lot in a field that I really care about, in a field that I can see myself staying committed to for the next 5 to 10 years.
Besides, if my next experience doesn’t work out the way I expected it to be, then at least, I could learn from it. As long as I am growing as a person from this experience, then that’s all that matters.
It’s not about how I should live my life; it’s about how I want to live it.
(This is me just writing to seek self-validation before I step on the plane.)